Police connecting young homeless man to three separate assaults

Police connecting young homeless man to three separate assaults on women

Posted:
Stacy Smith (source: Blount County Detention Center) Stacy Smith (source: Blount County Detention Center)

By LAURA HALM

6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A homeless man has been charged in two separate incidents in Knoxville parks. The same man was also arrested for attempting to assault a woman in an Alcoa discount store.

Stacy Elijah Smith, 18, was arrested in Alcoa on Tuesday in connection with the Aug. 31 incident at Big Lots, 116 S. Hall Road.

Knoxville police have also accused him with attacking a victim in a bathroom stall at Tyson Park on Sept. 7, as well as approaching a woman with a knife on the Jean Teague Greenway behind the YMCA on North Winston Road.

Alcoa police gave 6 News surveillance video to help them crack the case of the attack at Big Lots. Detective Kris Sanders says soon after the video aired, tips started coming in. But one tip got police heading in the right direction.

"One of the things he pointed out to me was just the way he was walking, the way he hung his head, and he said this is your guy," said Detective Smith.

Police say during an interview with Alcoa police, leads were developed that connected Smith with both Knoxville incidents.

"During that interview process he also said some things that he's done over in the Knoxville police jurisdiction on some of their greenways," added Detective Smith

Knoxville investigators have charged Smith with attempted aggravated rape from the Jean Teauge Greenway incident, as well as observation without consent and false imprisonment from the Tyson Park incident.

"In each one of the situations I think it's safe to say these women were lucky that it didn't escalate to that level," said Detective Smith.

Detective Smith says it was a team effort so that justice can be served, "Police work, effective use of the media, and just citizens that watched the news that's the combination that solved the case."

Smith is currently being held in the Blount County Detention Center on charges from the Alcoa Big Lots incident. When he is booked on the Knoxville charges, his bond will be $35,000.

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